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Why Managers Feel Vulnerable When Dealing With Non-Performance And 3 Things They Can Do To Deal With It.

Has this ever happened to you as a manager?

One of your direct reports doesn’t do what their job (function) requires them to do.

Perhaps they didn’t get a report in on time or they showed up late for work because they slept in or they left out a crucial step in a project which caused a delay in production.

Each of these behaviors is “non-performance”. In other words, the person who reports to you hasn’t “performed” what’s required of them in their function.

And, as a manager, you’re expected to deal with it.

Yet, many managers let it slide, with cascading consequences down the line where the “little” problem has now become a much bigger one with a more serious negative impact on the people or the organization.

Why does this happen and what can you do about it?

Many of our client managers tell us that they really dislike dealing with non-performance and that they feel vulnerable when they do.

Here’s the cause of these feelings.

Most people (not just managers) are uncomfortable with conflict mainly because they interpret disagreement as conflict.

Here’s how this works.

When a manager has to deal with someone’s non-performance, it means they have to “disagree” with how that person is currently behaving.

And, because they interpret this “disagreement” as conflict, they become uncomfortable and, as a result of their discomfort, they give themselves permission not to deal with the non-performance. This happens mostly unconsciously.

What the manager doesn’t realize is that when they do “nothing”, they have actually done “something” – specifically, they have acknowledged that the non-performance is OK, because if it wasn’t OK they would have dealt with it.

When this unconscious “discomfort” response isn’t monitored, it means that they are actually letting their personal discomfort get in the way of effectively dealing with the non-performance issue, which has the potential to create cascading negative consequences.

Although we have dealt with “5 Ways to Deal with Identified Non-Performance” in another blog , our experience has shown that the topic is so critical to successful business that we are expanding it here.

As a manager, there are 3 ways you can help neutralize your discomfort and deal more effectively with non-performance.  Continue Reading

The Value of Understanding What “Maturity” Really Means

“She’s just not mature enough to manage this team”.

“He’s so immature, always getting emotional when people don’t agree with him.”

“She’s really mature for her age. I think she can handle the promotion.”

If you’ve heard comments like this or even said something like it yourself, you’ve stepped into the shape-shifting arena of a word that is often misunderstood and often used negatively to describe a person’s behavior in a given circumstance or on a specific subject or topic.


Why does it matter that we understand the word more deeply?

What’s the value to you of learning more about it?  Continue Reading

7 Critical Factors for Sustained Sales Success

If you want to be a consistently successful sales professional, you can learn a lot from those who continually experience sustained success in their careers.

Specifically, they agree that just 7 factors make the biggest difference.

They are…

  • A sense of urgency
  • Persistence
  • Self discipline and control
  • Planning
  • Never assuming anything
  • Activity-Activity-Activity
  • Follow-up

All 7 are all equally important. One doesn’t take priority over the other.

Instead, they interact as a circle of things that you never stop doing as long as you want to experience sustained success.

Here’s how each of them work.  Continue Reading

“No Respect”: 3 Factors Influencing Why IT Often Doesn’t Get Respect Within the Corporation – and What to Do About It

What’s up with the Information Technology (IT) department in most companies?

Even though they provide a valuable service, they often face challenges in getting the appropriate recognition and respect for their efforts and contributions, in the past or in the present.

To understand this better – and to do something about it – it helps to focus on 3 significant factors that underpin this lack of respect and acknowledgement. They are:  Continue Reading

The #1 Most Powerful Motivator At Work

As a manager, if someone asked you about the #1 most important “motivator” for your employees, what would you say?

Money? A title? Opportunity for growth? A place where all the workers get along without conflict?

Surprisingly, none of these is #1.

There is a lot of research that has explored the most powerful and impactful motivators for people in the work environment and, consistently, one answer tops the list. It is…

“The need to be perceived as being valued.”

The key to this motivator is to understand that it has nothing to do with how you, the manager, think you are “valuing” an employee.

Rather, it has everything to do with how the employee perceives himself or herself as being valued.

In other words, the perception of “being valued” is completely in the eye of the employee.

Understanding this important distinction creates a big opportunity for the Manager to influence the employee to continually motivate themselves to maintain their performance, their focused energy, and their enthusiasm in the workplace.

As a Manager, all you have to do is appropriately ask the employee what “being valued” looks like to them. Then you must be ready (if at all possible) to deliver what the employee believes “ being valued” looks like to them.

Now, here’s the surprising part.  Continue Reading

How to Better Manage Your Time & Prioritize More Effectively

At the restart of any business year, we often hear people say that there is so much to do that they don’t have enough time to appropriately handle all the priorities coming at them, all at once.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.

Especially as you start your New Year, when a number of the issues you have already been dealing with may now have been re-labeled or viewed as urgent, critical or even an emergency.

As a result, a common question is: “How can one get a better perspective on what may feel like a lot of pressure?”

If you’re a manager, “How can you help your people handle their workloads more effectively and efficiently?”

Part of the problem, we’ve discovered, is that the business cultures in many companies have inadvertently and unintentionally “normalized” themselves into the idea that everything is urgent.

Yours may be one of them.

The problem with “normalizing urgency” is that when something is actually urgent, the people in these cultures don’t know how to appropriately deal with it, leading, more often than not, to unwarranted and unnecessary additional stress.

So, let’s start with a simple truth.  Continue Reading

Parenting – The Ultimate Emotional Challenge

One of the cornerstones of effective Self-Management is the ability to consciously manage our emotions.

This critical skill is so important that it features prominently in many of our client workshops, where we focus on Emotional Maturity and the journey to become aware of how we are currently managing our emotions.

It’s no surprise that during the workshops, a lot of parents start to make connections between emotional Self-Management and the relationships they have with their children.

Specifically they make connections about how their Belief System affects their emotions, triggering unconscious and often unwanted behaviors towards their kids.  (Your Belief System is defined as the sum of your cumulative memories and experiences from birth)

These experiential connections are often shocking, humbling, exciting, and challenging. Many participants have told us that it has been “life changing” for them.

As a result, we’ve had a lot of requests for blogs about the parenting insights that are consistently generated during the workshops. Sort of a “top 10”.

Until now, we haven’t posted these insights because it is not a simple subject and a blog post is not the ideal vehicle to address it.

However, it’s time.

So, we will post parenting insights in a series of blogs over the next few weeks. Based on our experience, here are the first few!

Be warned that these points may challenge your existing Belief System around parenting (if you are one) in the same way they challenged our participants.  Continue Reading

Are You a Conditional or an Unconditional Team Member? – Respect for the Team Leader

If you’ve ever wondered why some members of a team seem to support the appointed team leader unconditionally while others seem as if they are trying to take over the team, this blog will help explain what’s going on.

The reason that it’s important to know and understand these differences is to have a better understanding of team dynamics so that you can manage a more effective team.

In our previous blog, we looked at one of the factors that might help you tell the difference between a team member who is willing to be part of a team unconditionally (no strings attached) and one who is not (there are qualifiers before they will commit totally).

We called them “willing” or “unwilling” team members.

Both types can make great contributions to the team. It’s just that they differ in the unconscious conditions they put on team membership.

In the previous blog, we focused on how people share information and the reasons why some team members innately share lots of information with the team while others don’t.

In this blog, we focus on respect for the team leader.

Here’s how the two types of team members relate to the appointed team leader, starting with “conditional” or “unwilling” team members.  Continue Reading

Are You A Willing or An Unwilling Team Member?

At work, have you ever wondered why you are more willing or less willing to be part of a team than others around you?

You may be surprised that one of the reasons that you are either more or less willing to be part of a team has to do with your personality, specifically with how “conditional” you make being part of a team.

One symptom of this natural bias has to do with how you share information.

If you find yourself sharing or communicating information with your team members spontaneously, whether they ask you or not, and you share all the relevant information on the subject about which you are communicating with them, this is an indicator that you are willing to be part of a team unconditionally.

If, on the other hand, you find yourself sharing or communicating information with your team members only when they ask for it, and then you only share the information you believe is relevant (which might not be all the information about the subject about which you are communicating), this is an indicator that you are only willing to be part of a team conditionally.

This conditional or unconditional team participation is one of the behaviors triggered by your personality – unconsciously and habitually. In other words, you are doing it and you don’t know you are doing it.

This is the kind of valuable information that “psychometrics” surfaces.

Psychometrics is a tool that helps you understand what your natural personality biases are. It also surfaces which behaviors these biases naturally trigger – such as how conditional or unconditional you make team participation.

At Breakthrough Management, we use psychometrics to help our clients communicate with each other more effectively and better participate with each other in teams.

Our next blog will further explore how psychometrics helps you understand the behaviors triggered by your personality.

Five Tips on How To Reply To An Email Effectively In Business

There are lots of blogs (including ours) that focus on how to Write an effective email.

However, it’s just as important to effectively Reply to an email.

Here are some tips about how to reply, based on our experience and on Best Practices:

  1. Use “Reply All” appropriately
  2. Determine urgency
  3. Update the subject line
  4. Remember intent
  5. Be specific

Here’s how to make these 5 tips work for you…  Continue Reading